Poverty and Inequality

13.01.20

£3m fund to aid jobcentres supporting the homeless

New £3m funding will allow jobcentre staff to accompany outreach teams on the streets to speak to people sleeping rough, helping them to claim their benefits, find new work, secure stable accommodation and director them to additional support.

The new funding, which distributed from 2020 to 2021, comes off the back of devoted training given to hundreds of jobcentre managers last year on how best to support homeless claimants.

This will give staff more time to work with charities and other organisations to aid people who are homeless, including those rough sleeping.

The funding will also be used to reinforce projects jobcentres are already working on with numerous organisations, such as the Salvation Army in Cardiff, Crisis in Edinburgh and Teardrops in St. Helens, to support homeless claimants.

Jobcentre staff could also be stationed in charity run day centres to provide advice to those who use their services, but have not yet visited a jobcentre.

The work will build on the support already available from jobcentres for homeless people which includes:

  • Assisting people with opening bank accounts
  • Helping verify their ID to set up claims for benefits
  • Making regular payments to help pay for housing
  • Pausing requirements to look for work while they find stable housing
  • Signposting to drug, alcohol and other support services

 Will Quince, Minister for Welfare Delivery said: “We are determined to help anyone experiencing homelessness, and if this means getting staff out of the jobcentre to speak to people on the street directly then we will do that.

“There’s a huge amount of support available to help people who are homeless, but they often don’t know about the support they can access. So, we’re going out and taking the help to them, through outreach programmes and closer working with homelessness charities.”

Minister for Homelessness, Luke Hall said: “As Minister for Homelessness, it’s my priority to ensure that we reduce all forms of homelessness and rough sleeping. And while our interventions are working there is still more to do. Today’s announcement will mean homeless people get the support they need to get back on their feet and find new work.”

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